American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of Samoa. American Samoa consists of five islands and two coral atolls. The largest and most populous island is Tutuila, with the Manuʻa Islands, Rose Atoll, All islands except for Swains Island are part of the Samoan Islands, located west of the Cook Islands, north of Tonga, and some 300 miles south of Tokelau. To the west are the islands of the Wallis and Futuna group, the 2010 census showed a total population of 55,519 people. The total land area is 199 square kilometers, slightly more than Washington, American Samoa is the southernmost territory of the U. S. and one of two U. S. territories south of the Equator, along with the uninhabited Jarvis Island. Tuna products are the exports, and the main trading partner is the United States. American Samoa is noted for having the highest rate of enlistment of any U. S. state or territory. Most American Samoans are bilingual and can speak English and Samoan fluently, Samoan is the same language spoken in neighboring independent Samoa.
Contact with Europeans began in the early 18th century, dutchman Jacob Roggeveen was the first known European to sight the Samoan Islands in 1722. This visit was followed by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville who named them the Navigator Islands in 1768, contact was limited before the 1830s, when English missionaries and traders began arriving. The site of battle is called Massacre Bay. Mission work in the Samoas had begun in late 1830 when John Williams of the London Missionary Society arrived from the Cook Islands, by that time, the Samoans had gained a reputation for being savage and warlike, as violent altercations had occurred between natives and European visitors. In March 1889, an Imperial German naval force entered a village on Samoa, three American warships entered the Apia harbor and prepared to engage the three German warships found there. Before any shots were fired, a typhoon wrecked both the American and German ships, a compulsory armistice was called because of the lack of any warships.
Forerunners to the Tripartite Convention of 1899 were the Washington Conference of 1887, the Treaty of Berlin of 1889, the following year, the USA formally occupied its portion, a smaller group of eastern islands, one of which contains the noted harbor of Pago Pago. The Navy secured a Deed of Cession of Tutuila in 1900, the territory became known as the US Naval Station Tutuila. On July 17,1911, the US Naval Station Tutuila, in 1918 during the final stages of World War I, the flu pandemic had taken its toll, spreading rapidly from country to country. The result of Poyers quick actions earned him the Navy Cross from the US Navy, with this distinction, American Samoans regarded Poyer as their hero for what he had done to prevent the deadly disease
National Park of American Samoa
The National Park of American Samoa is a National Park in the United States Territory of American Samoa, distributed across three separate islands, Ofu, and Ta‘ū. The park preserves and protects coral reefs, tropical rainforests, fruit bats, and it is popular for hiking and snorkeling. Of the parks 13,500 acres,9,000 acres is land and 4,500 acres is coral reefs, the park is the only American National Park Service system unit south of the equator. The National Park of American Samoa was established on October 31,1988 by Public Law 100-571 and this was resolved on September 9,1993, when the National Park Service entered into a 50-year lease for the park land from the Samoan village councils. In 2002, Congress approved a thirty percent expansion on Olosega, in 2009 an earthquake and tsunami produced several large waves, resulting in 34 confirmed deaths, more than a hundred injuries and the destruction of about 200 homes and businesses. The visitor center and main office were destroyed but there was one reported injury among the NPS staff.
The Tutuila unit of the park is on the end of the island near Pago Pago. It is separated by Mount Alava and the Maugaloa Ridge and includes the Amalau Valley, Craggy Point, Tafeu Cove, and it is the only part of the park accessible by car and attracts the vast majority of visitors to the area. The park lands include a trail to the top of Mount Alava and historic World War II gun emplacement sites at Breakers Point, the trail runs along the ridge in dense forest, north of which the land slopes steeply away to the ocean. Ofu island is accessible via small fisherman boats from Tau island. Ta‘ū island can be reached by a flight from Tutuila to Fiti‘uta village on Ta‘ū, a trail runs from Saua around Si’u Point to the southern coastline and stairs to the 3, 170-foot summit of Lata Mountain. Because of its location, diversity among the terrestrial species is low. Approximately 30% of the plants and one species are endemic to the archipelago. Three species of bat are the native mammals, two large fruit bats and a small insectivore, the Pacific sheath-tailed bat.
They serve an important role in pollinating the islands plants, the sheath-tailed bat was nearly eliminated by Cyclone Val in 1991. Native reptiles include the pelagic gecko, Polynesian gecko, mourning gecko, stump-toed gecko, Pacific boa, a major role for the park is to control and eradicate invasive plant and animal species such as feral pigs, which threaten the parks ecosystem. There are several species, the most predominant being the wattled honeyeater, Samoan starling. Other unusual birds include the Tahiti petrel, the spotless crake, the islands are mostly covered by tropical rainforest, including cloud forest on Tau and lowland ridge forest on Tutuila
History of American Samoa
Wikimedia Atlas of American Samoa The islands of Samoa were originally inhabited by humans as early as 850 CE. After being invaded by European explorers in the 18th century, by the 20th and 21st century, the pre-Western history of Eastern Samoa is inextricably bound with the history of Western Samoa. The islands of Tutuila and Aunuu were politically connected to Upolu island in what is now independent Samoa and it can be said that all the Samoa islands are politically connected today through the faamatai chiefly system and through family connections that are as strong as ever. This system of the faamatai and the customs of faasamoa originated with two of the most famous chiefs of Samoa, who were both women and related and Salamasina. Early Western contact included a battle in the 18th century between French explorers and islanders in Tutuila, for which the Samoans were blamed in the West, less than a hundred years later, the Samoan Congregationalist Church became the first independent indigenous church of the South Pacific.
In 1872 the high chief of the tribes of the eastern Samoan islands gave America permission to establish a base in exchange for military protection. In 1878 the U. S. Navy built a station on Pago Pago Bay for its Pacific Squadron. American Samoa is the result of the Second Samoan Civil War, the international rivalries were settled by the 1899 Treaty of Berlin in which Germany and the U. S. divided the Samoan archipelago. The eastern Samoan islands became territories of the United States and known as American Samoa. The U. S. formally occupied its portion, with the harbor of Pago Pago. The western islands are now the independent state of Samoa, several chiefs of the island of Tutuila swore allegiance, and ceded the island, to the United States in the Treaty of Cession of Tutuila of 1900. The treaties where ratified by the United States in the Ratification Act of 1929, marines in American Samoa outnumbered the local population, having a huge cultural influence. Young Samoan men from the age of 14 and above were combat trained by US military personnel, as in World War I, American Samoans served in World War II as combatants, medical personnel, code personnel, ship repairs, etc.
These chiefs efforts led to the creation of a legislature, the American Samoa Fono which meets in the village of Fagatogo. In time, the Navy-appointed governor was replaced by an elected one. Territory of American Samoa is on the United Nations list of Non-Self-Governing Territories, the islands have been reluctant to separate from the USA in any manner. The maritime boundaries of American Samoa with New Zealand have been determined in a series of treaties, maritime boundaries with Tonga and Samoa have yet to be agreed upon. Employment on the island basically falls into three relatively equally sized categories of approximately 5,000 workers each, the sector, the tuna cannery
Pago Pago is the territorial capital of American Samoa. It is on the island of American Samoa, Tutuila. The territory is served by Pago Pago International Airport at Tafuna, entertainment and tuna canning are its main industries. The area commonly referred to as Pago Pago consists of a string of villages, each with its own village council, one of the villages is itself named Pago Pago, and in 2010 had a population of 3,656. Pago Pago may refer to the village, to the bay area or to American Samoa as a whole, the constituent villages are, in order, Fagatogo, Pago Pago and Atuu. Fagatogo is the referred to as Town and was the seat of government until a new Executive Office Building was opened in Utulei. In Fagatoto is the Fono, the Police Department, the Port of Pago Pago, many shops, from 1878 to 1951, the area was the site of a coaling and repair station for the U. S. Navy, known as United States Naval Station Tutuila. In January 1942 Pago Pago Harbor was shelled by a Japanese submarine, on September 29,2009, an earthquake struck in the South Pacific, near Samoa and American Samoa, sending a tsunami into Pago Pago and surrounding areas.
The tsunami caused moderate to severe damage to villages and vehicles, the town is located between steep mountainsides and the harbor. The main downtown area is Fagatogo on the shore of Pago Pago Harbor, the location of the Fono, the port, the bus station. The banks are in Utulei and Fagotogo, as are the Sadie Thompson Inn, the tuna canneries, which provide employment for a third of the population of Tutuila, are in Atuu on the north shore of the harbor. The village of Pago Pago is at the head of the harbor. A climb to the summit of Mt. Alava in the National Park of American Samoa provides a view of the harbor. Pago Pago has a tropical rainforest climate, all official climate records for American Samoa are kept at Pago Pago. The hottest temperature recorded was 99 °F on February 22,1958. Conversely, the lowest temperature on record was 59 °F on October 10,1964, the Feleti Barstow Public Library is located in Pago Pago. In 1991, severe tropical cyclone Val hit Pago Pago, destroying the library that existed there, the current Barstow library, constructed in 1998, opened on April 17,2000.
The tramway was repaired, but closed not long after, another noted view is that from the top of the pass above Aua Village on the road to Afono
Fagatogo is a village situated on Tutuila Island, in American Samoa. It is part of the agglomeration of Pago Pago. Fagatogo is the location of the American Samoa Fono, and is listed in the Constitution of American Samoa as the official seat of government. Fagatogo contains the port of Pago Pago, the bus station and market
Tutuila is the largest and the main island of American Samoa in the archipelago of Samoan Islands. It is the third largest island in the Samoan Islands chain of the Central Pacific located roughly 4,000 kilometers northeast of Brisbane, Australia and it contains a large, natural harbor, Pago Pago Harbor, where Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa is situated. Pago Pago International Airport is located on Tutuila island and its land expanse is about 68% of the total land area of American Samoa and with 56,000 people accounts for 95% of its population. The island has six terrestrial and three marine ecosystems, a popular island legend is that, upon the issuance of a particular call, a shark and a turtle will appear. The underlying story is that, in order to escape the pangs of starvation, according to this legend, they were reborn as a shark and a turtle. In support of this legend, the villagers utter a particular chant by which the shark, another Samoan legend is the Flying Fox, found in the National Park of American Samoa in Tutuila.
The belief is that the Flying Fox is the guardian of the forest. The Polynesians first reached Samoa at about 10,000 BC, by 600 BC, they had established a settlement on Tuta at Tula. They built up a settlement at Tula, over the centuries, the Samoans kept in contacts with the neighboring islands of Western Polynesia and Fiji. Whalers and Protestant missionaries began to arrive in the early 19th century, particularly in the 1830s, rather than Pago Pago developed as a trading station. Louis de Freycinet arrived in October 1819 and named Tutuila Rose Island after his wife, in 1872, the Pago Pago Harbor was recognized by the Americans as the ideal refueling station for the new San Francisco to Sydney steamship service. In 1872, the US Navy negotiated a treaty on Tutuila to use the island, the Samoans signed the agreement in 1900 and the Flag of the United States was raised on Tutuila on April 17,1900. It wasnt until 1929 though that it was ratified and the name of American Samoa wasnt given formally until 1911.
During World War II, Tutuila was an important island for the US Marines in the Pacific, the island, given that it was such an important base went relatively unscathed during the war, except for an attack from a Japanese submarine on January 11,1942. Since 1951, the island and American Samoa has been the responsibility of the Department of the Interior, in 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed H. In July 1997 Western Samoa, by agreement, changed the countrys name from Western Samoa to Samoa. This was opposed by the Americans, including the American Samoan islanders who believed that the name diminished their sense of identity and still use the terms Western Samoa and Western Samoans. Today American Samoa is an unincorporated and unorganized territory of the US but is under the administration of the Office of Insular Affairs of the US Department of the Interior
Music of Samoa
Traditional Samoan musical instruments included a fala, which is a rolled-up mat beaten with sticks. It is an idiophone which often accompanied choral singing, another idiophone, a soundingboard, sometimes accompanied the solo recitation of poetry. A conch shell was blown for signaling, amusement for small groups and individuals in private was afforded by a jaw harp, a raft panpipe, and a nose-blown flute. In recent times it is not uncommon to see the use of Pātē and it usually replaces the Fala and is played in the same rhythmic patterns. A musical or theatrical presentation celebrating an event in which performance groups alternate in an attempt to outdo each others efforts has come to be called a fiafia. It is often a hotel performance, in which now called siva Samoa. Amerika Samoa, a song with words by Mariota Tiumalu Tuiasosopo, the Banner of Freedom, a song that honors the flag of Samoa, has been the national anthem of Samoa since 1962, it was composed by Sauni Iiga Kuresa. Two stringed instruments quickly became commonplace in the islands, the guitar, by the end of the 19th century, European-style brass bands had come into existence in the major towns.
Later still, radio transmissions brought more variety, as local artists, marines during World War II helped solidify the affinity for American popular music. Many earlier bands copied or imitated this music—a trend that continues and it is common practice and well accepted for Samoan musicmakers to take a Western song, replace the lyrics with Samoan words, and reintroduce the tune as an original. The guitar and ukulele became the usual instruments for composing and performing music and that sound is now often replaced by the electronic keyboard and the multiplex of sounds and faux instruments available with it. Many current Samoan musicians upgrade old Samoan tunes with new technology, or imitate, modern pop and rock have a large audience in Samoa, as do several indigenous bands, which have abandoned most elements of Samoan traditional music, though there are folksy performers. Some pop musicians in New Zealand learned new dance styles on a trip to the islands of Samoa, New Zealand continues to produce modern popular Samoan stars, such as Jamoa Jam and Pacific Soul.
Even traditional hymns have seen an amount of change. Some pop bands, such as the RSA Band and the Mount Vaea Band, are associated with hotels, some bands have toured in New Zealand. Pop musicians include the Lole, Golden Aliis, The Five Stars, a Samoan group called Le Pasefika, going against the current trend by playing only old music, has become the hottest-selling Samoan group in the United States. Footsoulijah is animated and colorful, and always perform in camouflage fatigues, there is currently a dichotomy between old and new in cultural aspects of Samoan life, especially dance. One photograph has a Samoan child in traditional garb, dancing in a traditional way, like other Samoans, one of the most famous Samoan hip-hop artists, picked up his dance moves while living in California